Before I was a Shingler, I was a Sezzer, that is, a member of the Solosez listserve that many of us have fondly and jokingly come to refer to as our “virtual solo firm.” The list has been a godsend for me; through it, I’ve gotten top notch advice from other lawyers on matters out of my narrow area of expertise which has won me motions and saved me headaches. I’ve also referred cases out, received referrals from the list and most of all, enjoyed a reprieve from the occasional isolation of solo practice through our monthly lunches.
Of course, there are many reasons not to join solosez (as with all lists, we’ve got our share of griping and nastiness), but I hate to hear about solos who avoid joining because of heavy mail volume – because that’s a manageable problem. So that’s why I was glad to learn about this post by Jim Calloway with advice on managing listserve traffic.
You cannot have a high volume list like Solosez routed into
your inbox. You will have trouble locating your regular business e-mail
in the flood. But a list where there are only two or three messages per
month has little potential value. There are techniques for dealing with
a high volume e-mail list. The two most common are setting up a rule in
your e-mail client to route all Solosez messages to their own folder or
just setting up a new mail account just for one or more high volume
mailing lists. But I’ve found the best one, IMHO.
I periodically take a break from Solosez and resubscribe a
few months later. I mentioned to Ross Kodner that I was about to
resubscribe again and he said “Why don’t you just give yourself a Gmail
Invite?” As most now know, Gmail is the free web-based e-mail service
from Google with over two gigabytes of storage. Gmail is theoretically
still in beta version and you join by getting an “invite” from a
current user. (Anyone who wants one, e-mail me at
email@example.com. I had 50 invites left last time I looked.)
This has been great–for me anyway. When I log into my
Gmail “Solosez” account, the various e-mails are displayed by threads,
which makes them easier to quickly access. For example, if someone
asked a question about X Software, and ten people responded, I see the
subject of X Software with (11) next to it, indicating 11 total
messages. Clicking on the subject line brings up all 11 in order. This
is a great way to make sure I don’t miss a message on a topic of
interest, while allowing me to skip threads on the substantive law of
other states, for example. And now I’ve got over 2 gigs of storage on
someone else’s server. That’s a lot of Solosez e-mail!”
So after reading this, maybe you’ll feel brave enough to join the Solosez group!